Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Movie Review: MirrorMask

Title: MirrorMask
Director: Dave McKean
Year released: 2005
Running Time: 101 mins
Classification: PG
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Drama, Family

A dark artistic fantasy world.
MirrorMask follows 15 year old Helena. She stumbles into a fantasy world and embarks on a mission to find the Mirrormask to save the kingdom and to find a way home.

The storyline is the traditional lost kid in another world believing it is all a dream. Very ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’.
What makes MirrorMask unique is its artistic story telling, designs and the distinctive eeriness of music used. Written by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean the movie has a darker tone then a normal kids film.

Note: Neil Gaiman is a well known science fiction/fantasy writer. His books include American God, The Graveyard book and the graphic novel series The Sandman. If you enjoy his books, you will definitely like MirrorMask.
Dave McKean is a renowned artist and has collaborated with Neil Gaiman before on The Sandman series. His art work is unmistakable and it is his designs which make the fantasy world come alive.

The plot is self explanatory. The delivery of the storyline is intertwined perfectly with the mind game art technique used by McKean.
The entire movie is dim. Our world looks like a cloudy day before a storm while the fantasy world is covered in a sandstorm colour. The fading visual images in the fantasy world allow a dream like appearance. Kind of like submerging something in dusty water where you can see it, but not clearly.   

The creatures of the fantasy world resemble normal animals but yet are so unique you will have trouble placing them. (Besides from the Giant Twins, of course. They are definitely not from this world.)
Music is used wisely. Most of the music played in the background has a soft beat that I have never heard used in any other film. (Then again I have not seen every movie on the planet.) There are a lot of chiming noises. It makes the atmosphere feel more spiritual and even restful. The most memorable song would have to be Close to you played while Helena transforms into the Princess. I personal hate this song but the way this song is delivered in this particular scene, it hypnotised me as the magical dust did to the Helena.

However MirrorMask is not for everyone. It runs slower with no bright colours or happy singing to keep the more easily distracted audiences amused. So if you like your happy la la, bright colour singing children’s film, you may not enjoy MirrorMask.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who has always wanted to have an adventure. MirrorMask not only takes you on an adventure into another world, but will open your eyes to a place where dreams are lost, books have thoughts and where the darkness is alive. It is the mixture of art design and storyline that makes this movie brilliant.

Terri’s Rating: 4/5

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